Take Care, Be Well

11 AM–8:30 PM (CT)

Marking the end of the Smart Museum’s exhibition Take Care, and situated one year after Chicago’s stay-at-home order, “Take Care, Be Well” is a day-long series of live-streamed experiences and recorded content created by artists, students, community partners, and educators.

From artmaking to music, lullabies, film, and so much more, these offerings of care reveal the myriad ways we may turn toward each other for mutual support, sustenance, and compassion.

How to participate
Tune in using the livestream player that will be hosted on this page on March 20. Throughout the day, a handful of live programs have the additional option of engaging directly through Zoom. If you would like to join in these programs, please register via the buttons below. Additional asynchronous programs, including a one-day virtual screening of Chicago DSS: Division 7, Division, 4, Division 2, Division 6, are accessible at the bottom of the page. 

Thank you
The Smart Museum thanks all our friends, partners, and fellow team members who have generously shared their work and offerings of care as part of this program. We also want to extend our gratitude to Public Media Institute for their support producing and broadcasting “Take Care, Be Well.”

Top: Video Still, Chicago DSS: Division 7, Division 4, Division 2, Division 6 by Mierle Laderman Ukeles and Julian Flavin with the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation, 2019.


Auto-transcribed captioning will be available.

11–11:15 am
Spring Toward the Light
“Take Care, Be Well” begins with a short opening ritual to honor the losses (of people, places and things) from the past year and to celebrate the promise of new life, new beginnings and growth that each spring offers.

Spring Toward the Light is presented by Nicole Bond, a Lead Museum Educator and Teaching Artist from the Smart Museum of Art. She is inspired by the phases of the moon, the change of seasons and has a penchant for all things some consider to be "woo-woo."

11:15–11:30 am
Close Looking: Translated Vase
Artist Yeesookyung reassembles discarded porcelain shards into intricate sculptures with gold accentuating the former breaks. In this close-looking exploration, we will delve into the material, symbolic, and aesthetic qualities of her work in the Smart’s collection, Translated Vase (2007), and consider what lessons of care we might learn from her art practice.

Led by Gary Kafer, Academic Engagement Graduate Intern in the Smart Museum’s Feitler Center for Academic Inquiry and and PhD candidate in Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago.

11:45 am–12:15 pm
Care Memos
Care Memos invites everyone to create sound offerings of care for Black women. Beginning with the assertion that the voice and sound are meaningful sites of care, Care Memos aims to explore and wield the voice and sound as sites of care by collecting sound offerings recorded by participants (of all backgrounds and genders) for Black women. The project will also generate an experimental sound installation. Care Memos is a part of in ℅: Black women, a placekeeping initiative creating and activating sites of care for Black women on the South Side of Chicago. 

The project is led by Leilani Douglas, a Chicago-based researcher and singer. As a singer, she is interested in the power of song and chant as tools for Black healing, connection, and liberation. With Care Memos, she aims to explore (and expand) how we understand the layered ways in which the voice and sound can provide care, as well as transcend and reconfigure physical space. 

During the presentation, listeners will be invited to experience a series of care memos. They will also be invited to submit care memos of their own. 

12:30–1 pm
Quarantine Times Book Release Celebration

Celebrate the release of The Quarantine Times book during a live streamed panel featuring artists who contributed to the publication. Won Kim, head chef of Kimski and Quarantine Times Monday editor will present from Bridgeport, joined by other contributors who will offer readings and speak about their work over the past year, including the development of the Community Kitchen initiative. 

The Quarantine Times is an expanded conversation and publication project designed by team members and friends of Public Media Institute (PMI), the nonprofit that runs the Co-Prosperity Sphere, Lumpen Magazine, Lumpen Radio (WLPN 105.5fm), and the new Buddy space at the Chicago Cultural Center.

1:30–2 pm
Join Sam Banerjee for a discussion of Syringe, an exhibition-in-development, provide feedback, ideas, and share your own personal reflections. Through the tiniest of objects Syringe reflects on the modern syringe which has, paradoxically, both destroyed lives while holding out the promise of a cure in the present. Syringe brings into view racial health disparities from Syphilis to Insulin to Covid-19; the way new technologies like disposable syringes, first used on the battlefield, paved the way for widespread addiction and, later, its criminalization; the scandal of the Tuskegee experiments but also the bold sovereignty asserted by the Black Panther Party’s Free Medical Clinics; the risks of tattooing and piercing, particularly among the incarcerated; the unequal access to and disgrace of the current vaccine rollout, amongst other themes. Syringe brings together different registers of artifacts: contemporary art, historical documents and photographs, scientific tracts, and a robust programming schedule to think about how the practices of the scientific past bear on our lived present. Moreover, Syringe changes what an exhibition is by serving as a site for safe needle exchange, for vaccination, and for other acts of care and healing.
Sam Banerjee is a participant with Red Line Service and a member of the founding cohort. Banerjee’s creative work is founded on art’s power to activate community. He is currently working on uniting his scientific background with his artistic practice to create a multidisciplinary approach towards raising public awareness about and enacting replicable solutions to public health disparities.

2–3:15 pm
Chicago DSS: Division 7, Division, 4, Division 2, Division 6

Special screening of Mierle Laderman Ukeles and Julian Flavin’ 2019 film with the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation, which was included in Take Care. “In this film, our goal was to focus on the work, to see the work, to hear the work of city maintenance....I don’t think people see maintenance work. Yet, if we care to stay here, this work of keeping the City will go on forever. It keeps the City alive.”

The video will also be available for asynchronous streaming throughout the day, accessible at the bottom of the page.

3:30–4 pm
Echoing Care
a reflection and recital from the Rockefeller Chapel tower

In this program, Rev. Dr. Maurice Charles, Dean of Rockefeller Memorial Chapel at the University of Chicago, offers a reflection on the past year of care across and beyond campus, including a commemoration of those lost during the pandemic. University carillonneur Joey Brink performs selections engaging with themes of caring, listening, and remembering. Rockefeller Chapel is the ceremonial center of the University of Chicago, a part of Campus and Student Life.

Memorial tolling
Reflection by Dean Maurice Charles
In Memoriam, John Courter (1942–2010)
Healing Bells, Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra (b.1961)
Excerpts from American Gothic, Joey Brink (b. 1988)
-- Beauty for Ashes
-- The Gathering of the Nets
-- Memories of Melrose
Walking on Clouds, Geert D'hollander (b. 1965)

4:15–4:30 pm
Bethany Collins, a Reading

Multidisciplinary artist Bethany Collins, whose installation A Pattern or Practice was included in the Smart Museum's exhibition Take Care, reflects on care with a reading.
Bethany Collins is a multidisciplinary artist whose conceptually driven work is fueled by a critical exploration of how race and language interact. Language is both her subject and primary material—from dictionaries and encyclopedias to literary journals and newspaper archives. Language is also a prism through which she explores American history and the nuance of racial and national identities. Collins’ work has been exhibited at: The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa; Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis; Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio; Locust Projects, Miami; Smart Museum of Art, Chicago; and The Center for Book Arts, New York, among others. She has also received grants, awards, and residencies from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Hyde Park Art Center, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Artadia, and the Rural Alabama Initiative, among others. Collins was the 2015 recipient of the Hudgens Prize at the Hudgens Center for the Arts in Duluth, Georgia, and a 2018 recipient of Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship.

5–5:15 pm
Wiggly Wonderful Worms

How can you take care of the earth, the soil, your plants, and even some wriggly red worries all in one project? Easy! Learn how to build a worm bin with us. Also known as a vermo-composter, you can turn your inedible food scraps from home into incredible soil for your springtime garden. 

Led by Erik L. Peterson, Manager of Family Programs and Student Engagement at the Smart Museum.

5:15–5:45 pm
One Seed at a Time

Join us on a journey learning about organic mammoth sunflowers and how we can care for ourselves by caring for these magnificent plants. 
Sunflower Project US is a not for profit organization that focuses on restorative benefits and smiles from growing 15 to 20 ft sunflowers in urban areas. Rita Alvarez is executive director of Sunflower Project US and a Lead Museum Educator at the Smart Museum. Kathryn Fitzgerald, in addition to being executive secretary of Sunflower Project US, is a Lead Museum Educator at the Smart Museum.

6–6:45 pm
Take Care: An Art Lesson

Get a glimpse into the Smart’s K-12 residency program and join us for a live, virtual workshop where we’ll be discussing the Take Care exhibition and participating in art making. No experience required and suitable for everyone! This workshop will be an adapted lesson from the K-12 Art Education Residency Program that introduces students to art analysis and fundamental techniques in artmaking. During the workshop, we will look at Untitled #6 by Laura Letinsky and The Unmade Bed by Imogen Cunningham to explore scenes of domesticity and reflect on homelife during the pandemic. Following the discussion, we’ll consider how we can capture our own homelife through still lifes and contour techniques. There will be a collaborative playlist for everyone to listen to while we explore with art making.
The program will be led by UChicago undergraduates Sarahi Rincon Molina, ’23, Juan Pablo Azuero-Dajud, ’21, and Stella Shiffrin, ’22, who are currently interns at the Smart Museum’s Public Practice Department.

7–7:45 pm
Bedtime Stories and Lullabies
It’s bedtime! Bring your kids, nieces, nephews, grandkids and even kids at heart to the Smart Museum’s story time. Museum educators Jo McEntee and Erik L. Peterson read their own original stories about taking care and care-taking. We’ll end with a few lullabies written, composed, and performed by UChicago students and other member of the UChicago family. As always, we hope that you and your families are staying safe, keeping healthy, and the little ones are drifting off into a peaceful slumber.

8–8:30 pm
A Candlelight Sonic Supper with Angel Bat Dawid

You’re invited to a sonic supper by candlelight, with instruments for food and nourishment of the heart for all those in attendance. The dinner will include sounds, songs, text and spontaneous compositions. Join Angel Bat Dawid for a full course of music to end the night on the right note!

Angel Bat Dawid is a Black American Composer, Improviser, Clarinetist, Pianist, Vocalist & DJ. Her critically acclaimed Album "The Oracle,” released by Chicago label International Anthem was created entirely alone—performing, overdubbing and mixing all instruments and voices by herself—recorded using only her cell phone in various locations, from London UK to Cape Town RSA. In the fall of 2019, she composed and premiered “Requiem for Jazz" at the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, and in 2020 composed “Peace: A Suite for Skylanding” commissioned by the Art Institute of Chicago for Yoko Ono’s outdoor Skylanding installation. Angel tours internationally with her septet "Tha Brothahood" and released their album LIVE making NPR’s best of 2020 list. She also leads the all-woman trio Sistazz of the Nitty Gritty. As half of the duo group DAOUI Angel & sound artist Oui Ennui produced, mixed and self-released the album “Message from the DAOUI'' which was featured at Tusk Festival 2020. Angel is the clarinetist in Damon Locks Black Monument Ensemble and hosts a monthly music show on NTS Radio.

Asynchronous offerings

Streaming anytime
a series of small gestures

Inspired by Take Care, the Feitler Center for Academic Inquiry invited University of Chicago students to submit proposals for short videos reflecting on the questions of how we care for ourselves and each other. Over the course of Winter Quarter 2021, a series of ten “small gestures” of care accumulated on the Smart Museum's Instagram and online. 

Thursday, March 18, noon • Recording available March 20
Artist Talk: Mierle Laderman Ukeles

A virtual artist lecture by Mierle Laderman Ukeles in which she highlights a number of her past and ongoing works including  for -----> forever, which is both a response to the pandemic and a continuation of Ukeles’ long-standing dedication to honoring the unending labor of New York City’s public service workers through her artistic practice, and Chicago DSS: Division 7, Division, 4, Division 2, Division 6, a video she co-created with Julian Flavin in 2019 which was included in Take Care. Join the artist live on Thursday, March 18, at noon or stream the talk here beginning March 20.

This program is co-presented by the Open Practice Committee and the Smart Museum of Art.

Special one-day virtual screening on March 20
Chicago DSS: Division 7, Division, 4, Division 2, Division 6

“In this film, our goal was to focus on the work, to see the work, to hear the work of city maintenance....I don't think people see maintenance work. Yet, if we care to stay here, this work of keeping the City will go on forever. It keeps the City alive.”

Mierle Laderman Ukeles
American, born 1939

Julian Flavin
Candian, born 1990

With the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation
Assisted by Tamer Hassan and Armin Hayrapetian

Chicago DSS: Division 7, Division 4, Division 2, Division 6

Color video with sound, 71 min. 53 sec. 
Courtesy of the artists